Has Experian linked me to unrelated debtors?

Dear James,

I have been receiving correspondence for a lady with the same name and date of birth as me. These are for bad debts and she and her husband have been mis-traced as living at my address. On asking how this has happened, the name Experian has come into the conversation as a credit reference where this may have happened. Can you help?

Rachel, Lydney

Dear Rachel,

Sorry to hear about what sounds like a case of mistaken identity. I know this can be a cause for concern. Lenders and collectors are allowed to use credit reference information to help them find customers they’ve lost touch with who owe them money. Experian and the other agencies provide tracing services to help with this. What these do is suggest possible new addresses for the customer which the lender or collector then needs to take steps to verify – certainly before commencing any recovery action. But it only takes one organisation to make a mistake and wrongly link their customer to someone else with similar details for other lenders looking for the same customer to see this and follow the same trail. Fortunately, this is an issue we can rectify. Start by getting hold of your credit report – you can do this for free if you take advantage of the CreditExpert 30-day free trial – and then write to or email us with details. We’ll then liaise with any lenders involved to remove the other person’s details from your address, if necessary. We may also be able to take steps to stop you being bothered about this person’s debts in the future. (November 2012)

James
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